May 13, 2008 Minutes

West Calhoun Neighborhood Council

DRAFT Minutes:  5/13/2008


Present:  George Effrem, Rosemary Lundell, Barb Stevens, Mari Taffe, Todd Wildermuth, Rhea Sullivan (Co-Coordinator)

Absent:  Ahndi Fridell (Co-Coordinator)

Guests:  Rodgers Adams (CIDNA), Sargeant Brian Rodgers (Park Police), Betsy Hodges (Council Member)


Administrative Items

Secretary’s Report

  • The minutes of the April 14, 2008 WCNC meeting were approved.

       Treasurer’s Report

  • $481.09 in NRP Development account; $2,702.81 in NRP account.  Barb has paid for insurance.
  • Rhea will look into reimbursement for Barb Stevens for rocks and perennials purchased for the Midtown Greenway Access Point.


Monthly Updates


Council Member commentsCouncil Member Hodges reported that the Public Safety Fair was a success.  They will probably do it annually at neighborhood festivals.  Ward 13 has resource packets that can be handed out on each block.  The materials stress the importance of keeping your lights on, locking doors, and not leaving things in your car to help prevent crime.  Betsy circulated a list for those who would like to distribute materials.


Betsy had a meeting with Ward 13 businesses, which was helpful.  


Betsy announced the Commuter Challenge, which encourages residents to carpool, bus, bike or train to work.  May 14 is bike/walk to work day.  The website address is  The office of the Commuter Connection downtown has a demonstration bus bike rack so you can learn to load/unload your bike from a bus.  


On Sunday, May 18, they will be rededicating the Hiawatha Bridge to Martin Sabo.


The City has brought a tax bill proposal to the legislature that included NRP and the Target Center.  The first version was rejected, but a revision, sponsored by Senator Scott Dibble and Representative Davnie, passed.  It remains to be seen whether the Governor will veto this proposal, which was modeled on a successful bill sponsored by the City of St. Paul.  The bill would allocate approximately $8-15 million for NRP and Target Center for up to 10 years.


Lakes District Council Update Todd Wildermuth

  • Rhea Sullivan reported that she attended the April 24, 2008 Lakes District Council meeting.  The main task of the meeting was to meet in small groups and discuss topics for future Lakes District meetings.  Rhea reported that West Calhoun’s priority was the Lake Calhoun Master Plan.  The next meeting will be Thursday, July 24, 2008 at Whittier.


Midtown Greenway Coalition Update

  • No report.


Other Business

  • Sargeant Brian Rodgers (Park Police)  – Sargeant Rodgers brought a graph generated by the computer of the Park Board’s speed radar sign that showed that cars are slowing down as they pass the speed sign.  The data was recorded on Monday, May 12.  That day 4,802 cars were on West Calhoun Parkway.  He reported that they did a study on Marshall Avenue where they put up a speed sign and graphed the speeds before and after the sign went up.  It showed that the sign reduced speeds.  Sargeant Rodgers stated that he felt WCNC would get more for their money from a speed sign than from the Park Police Buy-Back Program.  He brought two bids for solar-powered speed radar signs.  A sign with 15” high digits from SpeedCheck would be $5,914.  A similar sign, the SpeedSentry from Traffic Solutions, would run $5045.  A sign with 12” digits would be $4545, with a reduction of $150 on shipping if we buy in the next 30 days.  The sign would be movable and would be installed on an existing light pole.  Sargeant Rodgers suggested that WCNC would purchase the sign and donate it to the MPRB.  The MRPB would be responsible for installation costs and maintenance.  Todd Wildermuth made a motion that WCNC purchase a 12” display sign from WCNC Crime and Safety Initiatives strategy for $4395 in place of the Park Police Buy-Back Program.  The motion carried.  Rhea will contact Carsten Slostad and Alexander Zachary to prepare the Scope of Services and contract for the strategy.
  • Southwest LRT meeting with Betsy Hodges – Todd Wildermuth, Mari Taffe and members of the CIDNA Transit Committee met with Betsy Hodges regarding the possibility of proposing a moratorium on park and ride lots in the City of Minneapolis.  Betsy learned from Ward 12 Council Member Sandy Colvin Roy that Minneapolis already has a ban on park and ride lots in the city that was passed in the 1990s.  Any Park and Ride lots that have been built are an exception to this policy.   (There are two park and ride lots that were built in conjunction with the LRT at the 2nd and 3rd to the last stops.)  WCNC has written a letter to CIDNA expressing that we have concerns about a park and ride lot in West Calhoun.  We also gave Art Higginbotham support for base funding for mitigation and planning.  This summer there will be scoping meetings where we can voice our concerns.  Betsy stressed that having a rail line will bring a push for redevelopment.  She recommended that WCNC revisit our design guidelines to be sure that they reflect any concerns we have about possible development resulting from the rail line.  Rodgers Adams suggested that we might want to invite Amanda Arnold to a meeting; if we want further info about the project, we could contact Katie Walker at Hennepin County.  
  • Water fountain concern – Barb Stevens reported that the drinking fountain at the access point is rusting.  Council Member Hodges will find out whom we should contact and let us know.
  • Fishing Pier – Todd Wildermuth had no updates on the fishing pier.  There will be a meeting of neighborhoods adjacent to Lake Calhoun on Thursday, May 15 at the Minnekahda Club.  Todd and Mari will attend.  Todd stated that he will be sure to continue to mention that shoreline erosion is a big problem.  Rosemary pointed out that there are many organized walks on weekends and, because of the number of people walking, this contributes a lot to erosion.
  • Reinstating swimming docks – WCNC received a letter from Fulton Neighborhood Association stating that FNA supports the idea of swim docks.  WCNC will not support this proposal because there are safety concerns regarding the supervision of swimming docks.     
  • Earth Day Wrap Up – Mari reported that there was an Earth Day Wrap Up meeting that she was unable to attend.  She had passed on the feedback that there should be water at the event.  Mari noted that there are crews that seem to be cleaning on the Greenway.  If this is the case, WCNC may want to focus on cleaning up at Lake Calhoun.
  • Board Elections – Barb Stevens moved a slate of five candidates.  George Effrem seconded the motion.  The motion carried.  George Effrem, Rosemary Lundell, Barb Stevens, Mari Taffe and Todd Wildermuth were elected for 2008-2009.  Lauren Kebchull declined to run again.  Mari will contact her to try to find another representative from Whole Foods.
  • Recruitment discussion – The Board discussed recruiting new members.  It was suggested that each Board member make it a goal to bring one new person to the Board.  The Board also felt that we need a new meeting space.  Mari will contact the Minnekahda Club and the Bakken about using meeting space.  Another possibility would be the Lake Calhoun Executive Center.  Todd Wildermuth also suggested that we might consider combining with another neighborhood, possibly readjusting the neighborhood boundaries.  It is possible that having a hot issue like the LRT will help us attract new membership.


The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 p.m.


The next WCNC Board meeting will be held Tuesday, June 10, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. at Whole Foods.


Respectfully submitted,


Rhea Sullivan

WCNC Co-Coordinator